Cartoonist puts Herpetologist on Green Humour

Cartoonist puts Herpetologist on Green Humour

The cartoon above was drawn by Green Humour illustrator, Rohan Chakravarty, after Dr. Rachunliu G. Kamei discovered a new species of swamp eel earlier in 2018

Morung Express Feature

Dimapur | December 16

Green Humour cartoonist, Rohan Chakravarty, drew Herpetologist, Dr. Rachunliu G. Kamei, discovering a new species of the red and blind swamp eel, near the living roots bridges of Meghalaya earlier this year, making the discovery accessible to people worldwide.

“A botanist friend of mine from Colombia had recently visited the living roots bridges (in Meghalaya) and could not stop raving about the place,” narrated Rohan to The Morung Express on why he chose to draw Dr. Kamei’s discovery. “I felt that visitors from abroad seem to know the value of this remote natural heritage more than Indians do, and that needs changing. The moment I read about the Swamp Eel discovery from that region, I knew that I had to draw a comic about it.”

In the cartoon, Rohan introduces the Monopterus rongsaw, explains its redness—“dense network of capillaries that enable it to breathe underground”—and then brings Dr. Kamei into the humour that his work is best known for (see image).

Cartoonist, illustrator and animation designer from Nagpur, Rohan terms his series of drawings Green Humour,“cartoons on wildlife, conservation and the environment.” With over 500 cartoons and counting, Green Humour, also the title of his website, is“possibly the largest collection of cartoons on wildlife and environment on the web.”

“I first met a wild tigress in 2005. Her gaze seduced me into doing something ridiculous, like most feminine gazes do.So I quit a career in dentistry and took up cartooning, making wild animals my subjects,” said the cartoonist who won the World Wildlife Fund’s (WWF) International President Award 2017 for his efforts to educate readers on wildlife and nature conservation, environment, sustainability and “all things green.”

His works have appeared in Sanctuary Asia, Current Conservation, Sustainuance, Tinkle Digest, National Geographic Traveller as well as been used for several conservation campaigns and publications by organizations such as WWF, Wildlife Trust of India, Nature Conservation Foundation, Humane Society International, Arunachal Pradesh State Forest Department etc.

“It is both a very exciting and a very challenging time to be a cartoonist,” said Rohan for the benefit of aspiring illustrators. “Print is dying a slow death and the web and the cartoonist are still to figure out what to do with each other. Having said that, communication and publishing are evolving at a rapid rate, and if you’re up for putting in a few years of back-breaking work, you can set your own rules down the line.”

Rohan’s efforts have resulted in laypersons understanding the ecology in a way that enhances human empathy,moving us towards better attempts at sustainability.

Rohan tweets @thetoonguy.